Famed Pianist Storms Off Stage Over Smartphone

Fan had been recording performance
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2013 2:36 PM CDT
Famed Pianist Storms Off Stage Over Smartphone
Krystian Zimerman   (Wikimedia Commons)

(Newser) – Famed Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman took a serious stand against rude fans and their smartphones at a recent performance in Germany. He spotted someone filming him from the audience, says a spokesperson for the Ruhr Piano Festival, and "asked them to stop, but they didn't." So he stormed off stage, only to return shortly thereafter and inform the audience, "The destruction of music because of YouTube is enormous." He finished the performance, but refused to give an encore and canceled a planned reception after the show, the BBC reports.

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Zimerman told the audience he's lost out on recording contracts thanks to such filming, with record company executives telling him, "We're sorry, that has already been on YouTube." Many artists share his frustration:

  • A British comedian was taken to court in 2009 after he smashed an audience member's phone during a show.
  • Roger Waters of Pink Floyd says filming shows is disrespectful to the performers.
  • Actor James McAvoy interrupted a recent performance of Macbeth in London until an audience member stopped recording him, the Telegraph reports.
  • At a recent gig, indie rockers the Yeah Yeah Yeahs put up a sign at the entrance: "Please do not watch the show through a screen on your smart device/camera." Also included on the sign were what the BBC calls "some stronger words."
Zimerman made headlines in 2009 for an anti-American rant at one of his LA shows. (Read more Krystian Zimerman stories.)

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